Yesterday, this column reviewed “Edge of Tomorrow,” a recently released science fiction movie featuring Tom Cruise and company versus dangerous aliens. The character of "alien" gives filmmakers much to experiment with. They can make humongous soupy creatures or microscopic squirmy guys. They can have countless appendages or no arms or legs whatsoever. And there are numerous things that a good makeup artist can do with facial features, assuming the alien has a face at all. There is also lots of potential for innovation in crafting the alien's personality. Often, they are depicted the villains, but sometimes they are portrayed as good guys. “Galaxy Quest,” from 1999 offers a range of benevolent aliens.
“Galaxy Quest” centers on a group of actors who were very popular in the early 1980s because they starred on a “Star Trek”- type television show called “Galaxy Quest.” Many years after the show's cancellation, the actors struggle to get meaty roles and are unhappy because appearances at fan conventions inspired by "Galaxy Quest" are often their only means of employment. The only one who enjoys it is Jason Nesmith (played by Tim Allen), who played the courageous captain. His less enthusiastic costars find him insufferable. At a convention, Jason meets a group of aliens who resemble humans who say they need his help. He mistakes them for the typical sci-fi geeks that frequent such events and decides to humor them. They take him to a space ship they have built to resemble the one from the show. Jason is amazed and goes to convince his costars to join him. Soon they find themselves combatting a truly dangerous group of aliens, a challenge for actors accustomed to scripted enemies.
“Galaxy Quest” has an excellent cast. Tim Allen is very funny as Jason, who is slightly in love with himself. Sigourney Weaver is also strong as Gwen, one of his costars.
Viewers will find the action scenes clever and not scary. One shows the actors on a distant planet battling a giant monster made out of rocks. This scene is exciting since they have to get beamed back to the ship before it kills them.
"Galaxy Quest" is a good choice for fans of sci-fi/comedies.